« НазадПродовжити »
and kindness with which I have been treated by them one and all, I would have refused to repay their hospitality with a deceit, however innocent.'
It is not a deceit, darling; it is only a concealment, and even that would be unnecessary if we had only them to deal with. I say, if my uncle and his people were alone concerned, I would make a clean breast of it to-day, and leave the question of my love to be judged by their own good hearts. But did I not warn you that I have an enemy here? Do you know who it is ?'
Of course I do,' she answered, smiling sweetly; if I did not I might hope that I was fancy free.' (Elise, like others of her race, had learnt her English with Shakespeare's aid). But because you have won my heart, my senses are keen to all that concerns you. Oh yes, I have seen that man's face fixed on yours when you knew it 110t, and it means mischief-ruin, if he can compass it.'
• You have read him like a book. There are some natures which we must combat in their own way, or submit to be overcome by them. We must meet the serpent with the wisdom of the serpent. He has not heard you talking English, I trust.'
No; but I have heard him,' answered she, naïvely. He has persuaded Lady Arden that Sir Robert's invitation to your friend - which seemed to give you such pleasure this morning-should be revoked. However, there is some one coming; what will be thought of our walking together thus ?
No matter ; Frankie will explain it . It is my uncle himself—and his shadow.'
The two figures, which had been partially hidden by the trees, came into full yiew.
• There is Uncle Ferdinand,' cried Frank. Oh dear, oh dear!'
"Well, what of him,' exclaimed Gresham, with irritation. He won't bite our noses off. What's the mat
ter with the boy? He looks as pale as death.'
* There is nothing the matter,' cried Frank, with the same anxious earnest
* Indeed there is not; oh pray don't tell him there is.'
Very good, I'll be as dumb as that fir cone.
But in return, Frankie, you must tell my uncle how you came to be here with Miss Hurt'; else he will think, perhaps, she has been straying out of bounds ; don't you see?'
Yes, yes,' answered the boy, evidently not troubling himself with the reason for this request; ‘I will say anything you please to Papa. And George, dear George, if Mr. Walcot should wish me to go to school, don't let Mamma
sisters vex him any more by their objections. I would rather, much rather, go to school.'
Gresham stared at the boy in astonishment-it was clear that he was in a state of terror; but his own concerns were just then too pressing to admit of any questioning. The two men were now drawing very near ; Sir Robert as usual with him, partly from a certain hypochondriacal idea that his steps wanted support, and partly from the sense of dependence always experienced in the other's society, was leaning on his brother-in-law's arm, who apparently was speaking rapidly in his ear.
• Don't forget what you are to say Frankie,' whispered Gresham, hurried. ly, and then the two parties met.
Sir Robert looked grave, but, with a courtesy that never forsook him when speaking to one of the opposite sex, expressed his hope that the Wilderness had found another admirer in Miss Hurt.
'It is very, very beautiful, sir,' said she, and was about to add that she was indebted to Master Frank for her introduction to it; but her pride forbade it. If her employer chose to impute any other cause for her presence in that spot, he might do so.
Sir Robert attributed her hesitation
to her imperfect knowledge of the sage could still reach him by the wire English tongue.
to put off his coming ?' That is a curious way of taking Not unless the wire was attached horse exercise, George,' observed he, to his yacht,' returned Gresham, drily ; ' to go on foot, and lead your coolly, as you may see for yourself.' nag.
And he drew from his pocket the reI had been out for a ride, sir, on turn telegram, and placed it in Mr. the moor, and meeting Miss Hurt and Walcot's hands. Frankie in the wood, I joined them.
• Was about to start for Folkestone, 'It was I who brought Miss Hurt to see the Wilderness,' said Frank, his
but am now off for Archester, which is delicate face flushing from chin to
the nearest port to Halcombe. A thous
and thanks to your uncle. Shall be brow; ‘I was showing her over the
with you on Friday with great pleagrounds.'
sure.' Quite right, lad, quite right,' said Sir Robert, patting his head, but * You seem to be somewhat precipispeaking absently. He had got some- tate in your invitations,' said Mr. thing unpleasant to say,a circumstance Walcot, biting his lip. which always weighed upon his mind *Not at all; if I had been an hour till it was done with. By the bye, later I should have missed my friend.' George, I have got something to say *I did not mean that, sirto you, which I fear will cause you Well, well, no matter,' broke in disappointment. It is with regard to Sir Robert, 'there is no harm done, your friend Mayne—the fact is, I'- George. Your friend will be very here he looked uneasily towards his welcome. Mr. Walcot, let us go on? brother-in-law.
And he lifted his hat to the governess, "I am sure it will not be necessary
and moved slowly away. Arden, to go into particulars with It is horrible,' ejaculated Greshan, your nephew,' put in Mr. Walcot, when the pair were out of earshot ; smoothly. The fact is, Mr. Gresham, 'my uncle is growing a dotard before your uncle is far from well, and the his time, thanks to that sycophant presence of any visitor just now-be- and scoundrel
. However, he has been ing a stranger too
done this time; the electric telegraph No, no,' interrupted Sir Robert, is certainly a great institution.' petulantly, it is not that; I am well Elise glanced at the boy, and then enough. But perhaps at some other reprovingly at Gresham. time, if it's the same to Mr. Mayne; Oh, Frankie knows what I think it isn't as if he knew about it, and we of Uncle Ferdinand,' he answered, were putting him off, you see.'
lightly Well, unfortunately, sir, he does Here a sharp, authoritative cry of know about it,' answered Gresham, Frank, Frank,' was heard behind drily. •Directly you were so good as them. It was Mr. Walcot's voice. to ask him-knowing what pleasure The boy started off like a dog that he would have in coming to Halcombe, hears its master's whistle. and also that his movements are apt
When he overtook the two men, to be sudden-I telegraphed to him at Walcot held out his hand, in a kindly Boulogne, from which place he has manner, as it seemed; but when his wired back to say he will be at Ar- fingers closed over the lad's, they gave chester in two days.'
a warning grip. Mr. Walcot turned pale with pas- * Look here, Frankie ; you said just sion.
now that it was you who asked Miss Quick as may be your friend, Mr. Hurt to take a walk in the wood : did Mayne's, movements, I suppose a mes anyone
you to say that ?'
. But it really was
ask you what you were wanted for, The fingers closed upon him like a say that I brought it out by mistake vice. "Be so good as to answer my and wished to get rid of it : and say question. Did any one bid you tell nothing about the other matter.' your Papa to say that it was at your Before the boy was gone, he turned to invitation that Miss Hurt was here?' his brother-in-law and said, signifi
The boy trembled like a leaf as he cantly, I was right, you see, Arden. answered, 'Yes, Mr. Walcot. George They met by appointment, without told me to say so; but it really doubt.' Sir Robert struck his stiek
into the sand and novell on in sombre * That will do ; take this book back silence. with you. If George or Miss Hurt
(To be continued.)
IT IS WELL.
BY H. L. SPENCER.
Low in the west sinks the autumn sun ;-
Southward the birds have flown, one by one.
In the glade to whom is the brooklet calling?
Follow, it says, and follow me!
And downward borne to the hungry sea.
Give me my staff, and give me my sandals ;
Down by the brookside I would go,
That the thread of my life have tangled so.
And mocking phantoms the nights infest ;
And I in my mother's arms would rest.
ROUND THE TABLE.
superficially average people think, disappointment in our friend, and for that one so often hears it observed the change of opinion which can hardly with surprise that quarrels should fail to impair any friendship worthy of arise or friendships be broken up by the name. And it is quite reasonable such apparently inadequate causes. that it should be so. A straw will Undoubtedly some people are in the show the direction of a current quite habit of magnifying every trifle which as well as a plank. And if friendship concerns themselves, till they resemble be, as Jeremy Taylor tells us, the nothing so much as a wild gooseberry, greatest union of minds of which brave which you cannot touch without suf- men and women are capable,' then fering from its prickles; and there are the discovery-be the occasion ever so comparatively few who are free from slight that our supposed friend's mind at least a touch of the same tendency. (by which I mean moral sympathies) But we all know that character comes is quite incompatible with our ownout as strongly in trifles as in greater must make it impossible that the things, perhaps more strongly, as friendship can long survive. these will often elude the power of a
F. strong will, which for obvious reasons will often keep disagreeable traits well - There is no tax on the time of covered, unless beguiled into forgetful- busy people so annoying as the inness in some small matter that does cursions of idle people, a fact which not seem worth minding. And where idle people whose time often hangs a friendship has any foundation in es- heavy on their hands, find it difficult teem, and is not a mere outgrowth of to realise. You are in the midst of a accident or habit or propinquity, the busy morning-every hour and half discovery of an unworthy trait in a hour filled up in anticipation with trifling matter, is just as painful and work that has to be done, yourself in just as likely to undermine the mutual good working order and getting on regard, as if the occasion were in itself briskly—when the door opens and far more important. The man who your friend, Mr. Drone, enters leisurely, over-reaches us in a matter of a few good humoured and conversational, cents, we are hardly likely to trust in and you inwardly groan, for you know a transaction where thousands of dol- you are in for half an hour's gossip on lars are involved ; and so the friend his part, and impatiently patient civilwhom we find ungenerous or treacher- ity on yours. He is a man full of the ous, or selfishly absorbed in his own in- liveliest interest in his neighbour's afterests in a small matter of every day
fairs, which, having nothing parlife, is hardly more likely to retain the ticular to do this morning, he is able esteem which was the inspiration of to discuss with a fulness of detail, our friendship, than if the same trait which in other circumstances might had come out in an affair of far greater amuse you, but which, at this particuintrinsic consequence. In the latter lar time, when the clock's hand tells case our selfish sense of material you of your shortening morning and loss would be far greater, but in the your undone work, is inexpressibly fretting. By-and-by your friend seems ant of all subjects, are yet, besides all to come to the end of his flow of dis
the necessary and multifarious decourse, not much stimulated, it is to mands upon their time, supposed to be feared, by your brief and distrait be the legitimate prey, at all hours, of replies; and you begin to breathe more every idler or busybody who imagines freely and hope for speedy relief. Not he has business with them, or a sub80; your friend calmly remains seat- ject of importance to bring under their ed, and, all unwarned by a silence notice. A preacher has, perhaps, just which you feel awkward but will not got into a happy vein of thought and break, he begins again presently on a How of composition, when, in the midnew subject—this time, perhaps, a dle of a paragraph, thought out with pet grievance, on which he can easily great care, Mr. Discursive .drops in,' go on for an hour, although you know and bores him for an hour with misbeforehand all he has to say. Per- cellaneous talk, which puts his carehaps, in sheer desperation, you break fully collected ideas to ignominious away, at last, on plea of pressing en- flight, and yet which, if à sensitive gagements, a thing you wish you could man, he cannot bear to cut short. One have summoned courage to do long wonders why the idle people can't inbefore. You try to apply yourself to flict their superfluous time on each your work again—not so easy a task other, and let busy people alone. however, after the fretting process to
X. which you have been subjected—when in walks another visitor, a lady this -Few things are more unaccounttime, Mrs. Limpet, who wants your able than the apathy and indifference assistance in some new scheme she has with which the people bear the evils devised, and, by way of disposing you connected with the administration of favourably towards it, comes to rob the law in this country. We ask for you of another half hour of your pre- Government interference in a great cious morning. Indeed, you are for- many things; we look to it to make tunate if you can get rid of her so or unmake trade, to encourage some soon, as she is one of those women who kinds of industry by premiums of love to linger over their subject, adorn- protective and prohibitory duties, and ing it with all manner of episodes, in the same degree to discourage which they give with the minutest others, to draw people away from the circumstantial detail, which you find cultivation of the soil, the business it impossible to cut short. By the which the country has special facilities time she has run her story out to for, encouraging them to engage in mer. the last thread, your busy morning cantile business, by releasing them from that was to be, is all but gone; their contracts through an Insolvent your mind is wearied and distracted, Law. We look to Government to eduand you are hardly in a condition to cate our children to inspect and stamp take up again the dropped threads of the products of our industry, to make thought and begin anew. Such inter- people sober by prohibiting the sale ruptions are particularly distracting of intoxicating liquors ; in short we to people whose work is pure brain- look to it to do many things which it work, demanding, before all things, ought not to do, while we do not concentration of thought and freedom demand of it the discharge of its from distracting influences. None chief function—the administration of probably suffer from them so much as justice. This, which ought to be the clergymen, who, while everybody first business-and, in the opinion of knows that they are expected to pre- many, the sole business-of a Govpare every week two carefully con- ernment, and on which social wellsidered sermons on the most import- being so intimately depends, it turns